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Oral history interview with Wayne B. Hales

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 30

Scope and Contents

Interview by Edwin R. Kimball with Wayne B. Hales, concerning his experiences as a Brigham Young University student, and as a member of the BYU Athletic Council, his family and his experiences with other faculty and administrators at BYU. Includes transcript and sound recording.


  • 1978


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

Wayne B. Hales (1893-1980) was an American educator and academic administrator in Utah.

Wayne Brockbank Hales was born in Spanish Fork, Utah. Hales was the son of Jonathan Hyrum Hales and Martha Ann Brockbank. As a youth Hales worked with his father in the Tintic Mines. He earned a bachelors degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1916. He had lettered in both track and basketball while at BYU. Hales was the scoutmaster of the first troop in Provo and was given the Silver Beaver in 1942 for his commitment to scouting. After graduating from BYU, Hales taught at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1916–1921. He served as president of Snow College from 1921–1924. When Hales went to Snow its name was Snow Academy, and its name was changed to Snow Junior College in 1922. He was also the first leader of the institution to hold the title of president. Over the years he pursued advanced degrees at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah. He focused full-time on studies from 1924–1926 at the California Institute of Technology culminating in a Ph.D. Among those who Hales studied under were Albert A. Michelson and Robert A. Millikan.

From 1926–1930 Hales taught at Weber College (now Weber State University) he then joined BYU at the physics department. During World War II, Hales was the coordinator for the BYU affiliated civilian pilot training corps' ground school. He was the only faculty member in the department and taught all of the classes. In 1950, Hales served as the chair of BYU's Diamond Jubilee Committee. He was the dean of the General College of BYU from 1958–1964. Later in the 1960s he was chairman of BYU's athletic committee. Besides physics, Hales also taught courses at BYU in astronomy, meteorology, mechanics, math and photography. Hales taught the first classes in photography at BYU and was involved in forming the BYU Photo Studio. Hales also served as chairman of BYU's athletics council from 1952-1967.

He became an emeritus professor in 1972 but continued to show up at BYU every day. Among other projects he wrote some of the typescripts used as sources for the four volume centennial history of BYU. He also taught in BYU's continuing education department until his death.

Hales for a time was editor of the BYU Physics and Astronomy Newsletter. He was one of the bishops called to preside over one of the first wards in the first BYU stake. He was also the first president of the BYU 5th Stake. Hales later served as a stake patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1916, Hales was married to Isabel Ethel Wilson. They had six children. Isabel died in 1963. Hales later married Vivian Parkinson.

After his death, a Wayne B. Hales memorial scholarship was established in Hales' honor.


3 folders (0.04 linear ft.)

1 volume

Language of Materials



University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).


Recorded as part of the Joint Oral History Project of the BYU Archives, the Alumni Association Emeritus club, and the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies.

Register of Oral history interview with Wayne B. Hales
Jennifer Kim
2011 August 16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. University Archives Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo UT 84602 US